As derived from the UN charter preamble, “we the peoples”, state a notion of belonging to an overarching theme. Being a practitioner and researcher in the realm of knowledge management (KM), a few questions surface in one’s mind since the concept KM is about people, their skills, experiences, learning paths and ability to become knowledgeable within their practice and discipline. Also to what extent we are able to build sustainable models, processes and tools to lever knowledge from an individual or group to a continuum of a learning organisation. The UN charter preamble nails the core being people, and to that, the governing principles follow the path.
Where are we heading with KM? Since inception in late 80’s and emerging in the 90’s the knowledge management area have both matured but also gone into freeze or a KM winter with the omnipresent diffusion of technology.
Talking about people, since this is where we all start, an early attempt to codify knowledge or open up the famous tacit knowledge in peoples social behaviour patterns and conversations to undertake whatever practice, have failed. Regardless of technology stack at hand, since it is a people-centric quest. People are messy, and will never be motivated to codify what they know into some record keeping space.
The recent rise of attention in the digital assisted arena (AI), semantics and cognitive computing stress the sense-making parts. Obviously, people want a cohesive workplace and tooling that decrease the digital landfill, and dismal of feeling puzzled by the maze-like workplace. People also like to group and work together. An in-built social structure that makes us human. Homo Sapiens are really good at collective imagination and mass-collaboration.
The hyper-connected enterprise, have to become demi-dexterous: both being an imagined reality (organisation) with governing principles (structures, work practices, disciplines, skills, experiences and processes) as well as act in an agile manner to reach for innovation. Stable and fluid in a good balance. Smart emerging enterprises lean upon the agile ethos, using a pod structure where autonomous network nodes (groups of people) co-act and collaborate. These building blocks for a sustainable model is what we see in the open domain (i.e Wikipedia) realm, where the genome for collective intelligence sparks
Knowledge Management will evolve and defrost, and start making sense in the corporate world. Maybe to notion manage in KM, as control, will be replaced with cultivation since knowledge creation, curation and dissemination is a social process all in all. A shared ride, if we only focus on people, not technology per se.